WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - It was graduation day for students at Florida International University, but this year things were a little different due to COVID-19.

Thousands of students celebrated their first in-person graduation since the start of the pandemic, Saturday.

The ceremony was held at the Riccardo Silva Stadium on FIU’s main campus in West Miami-Dade.

Graduates said, with the hardships the pandemic brought on, this marks a meaningful moment for them.

“This day means almost everything. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of sweat and tears to get here, and it means the world,” said graduate David Berthold. “It hurts a little bit not to have my family around, but it’s definitely worth it just to be able to get this day.”

Several safety guidelines were put in place, like a strict capacity limit.

A total of six ceremonies will be held this weekend.

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